Lansing superintendent recommends switching to remote instruction
When Lansing school board members meet Wednesday evening, the superintendent plans to recommend switching from in-person instruction to only remote instruction after the Thanksgiving break.
Superintendent Dan Wessel also is recommending that extracurricular activities be suspended.
His recommendation is based on what is known as gating criteria previously adopted by the Lansing Board of Education.
The gating criteria includes thresholds for when the district may switch from in-person instruction to remote learning.
The thresholds are based on COVID-19 cases in Leavenworth County. The gating criteria observed by the school district are the two-week average positivity rate, a two-week incidence rate and the number of new cases per 100,000 people during a two-week period.
School board members are scheduled to have a special meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the district office, 200 E. Mary St. The meeting will be live-streamed at https://youtube.com/user/USD469.
According to the agenda, board members will review the latest COVID-19 statistics for the county and school district and “determine the best path to continue to educate students while providing a safe environment for them, the teachers, and the remainder of the USD 469 team.”
The gating criteria system adopted in August by board members uses a two-color system, green and red, for determining which instruction model should be used.
All three of the criteria currently are in the red, which is the category for remote only instruction.
In a written recommendation for tonight's meeting, Wessel wrote that an increase in community coronavirus cases is making it difficult to “educate our students effectively and is subjecting students and staff to a greater risk of exposure.”
Wessel recommends the district switch to a fully remote schedule Nov. 25, which is the first day of the district’s Thanksgiving break.
“This will give our families a week to prepare before going remote,” Wessel wrote.
He also recommends the district remain in the full remote schedule until at least Jan. 11.
“Moving students from one mode of education to another is a difficult task for staff and students, and these dates are used to provide longer term learning modes for the sake of consistency,” Wessel wrote.
He also noted that gatherings during the holiday season could lead to increases in cases. He hopes the number of community cases will drop by Jan. 11.
The Lansing district already has offered students the option of remote only instruction this school year. But a majority of the students in the district are signed up for in-person instruction.
Members of the Leavenworth Board of Education also are scheduled to have a special meeting this evening to discuss their own gating criteria and school schedule.
That meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. at 200 N. Fourth St. The meeting will be live-streamed at https://www.youtube.com/user/LeavenworthUSD453.
It was not clear Tuesday what recommendation Leavenworth Superintendent Mike Roth may make regarding a change to the district’s in-person instruction.
Roth stated in an email that he was meeting with building administrators Tuesday afternoon.
“I want to get their building pulse, prior to formulating a recommendation to the BOE,” he wrote in the email.
If the county’s COVID-19 numbers do not improve by Monday, the Basehor-Linwood district likely will switch to remote only instruction after the Thanksgiving break. Basehor-Linwood Superintendent David Howard said parents would be notified next week ahead of the change.
He said the district would remain in the remote only model for at least two weeks. He said the instruction model probably would not change again before the winter break.